Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Egypt: Mursi says coup will collapse as state of emergency ends - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
Select Page

A man walks past graffiti depicting ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi in downtown Cairo September 2, 2013.  (REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)

A man walks past graffiti depicting ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi in downtown Cairo September 2, 2013. (REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)

London, Asharq Al-Awsat—Deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi has claimed that he was kidnapped before his ouster as a three-month state of emergency expired on Tuesday, two days earlier than expected.

Egypt’s government has issued a confused response to the decision, with cabinet spokesman Sherif Shawky confirming that the government will comply with the court ruling, and military spokesman Col. Ahmed Ali saying that the Egyptian army will continue to enforce the nightly curfew until it receives official notification.

The measures were introduced on August 14 after security forces forcibly broke up a number of sit-ins across the country in support of Mursi.

Following a meeting with his defense team on Tuesday, Mursi claimed that he was kidnapped by Republican Guard and held at a naval base 24 hours before the military formally ousted him on July 3.

Lawyer for the defense Mohammed Damati read a statement issued by Mursi—who continues to insist that he remains the legitimate president of Egypt—addressing the Egyptian people on Wednesday.

“The kind Egyptian people should know that I have been kidnapped forcibly and against my will [and held from] July 2 and until July 5 in a Republican Guard house until my aides and I were moved again forcibly to a naval base belonging to the armed forces for 4 full months,” he said.

“Egypt will not recover until everything that happened due to this coup goes away . . . and the holding to account those who spilled blood everywhere on the nation’s land,” the statement added.

Mursi said: “I salute the Egyptian people who rose up against this coup, which will fall by the power of the Egyptian people in their jihad for the sake of their rights and freedoms.”

The statement read out on his behalf concluded: “The coup has begun to fall apart and will topple in the face of the steadfastness of the Egyptian people.”

Mursi also affirmed that Defense Minister Gen. Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi had violated his oath of loyalty, committing “treason against God” and “treason against the whole nation.”

Damati reaffirmed that Mursi continues to refuse to recognize the court that is trying him, adding that he remains the legitimate president of Egypt.

Egyptians fear the outbreak of a new wave of pro-Mursi protests and sit-ins following the lifting of the state of emergency and curfew. While the three-month state of emergency officially expired on Tuesday following the issuance of a court ruling, Interior Minister Mahmoud Ibrahim said it would continue to be in effect until Thursday so that security reinforcements could be deployed to the streets.

The Cairo Administrative Court ruling lifting the state of emergency appears to have caught the Cairo government by surprise, with Egyptian authorities holding off implementation until later this week.

The military said it has not received official notification of the court’s decision, and that the curfew will continue to go ahead as planned.

The issue of the lifting of the state of emergency remains uncertain. The court’s decision came in response to a lawsuit which questioned the legality of the state of emergency. The Cairo Administrative Court ultimately rejected the lawsuit, ruling that the state of emergency had already expired.

However, a senior judge at the Cairo court told Egypt’s state news agency that the ruling did not obligate the government to put an end to the state of emergency.

For his part, Egyptian interim president Adly Mansour is in the process of reviewing a draft protest law which, if enacted, should grant the security authorities sufficient powers to deal with any new wave of pro-Mursi protests. However, the draft protest law has also raised controversy in the country, with many political parties and civil organizations viewing it as a setback for human rights and freedom of protest in Egypt.